5 health foods that aren’t actually so healthy 18



View Profile

Australians are set to spend a whopping $1 billion on diet products this year alone, and with the health industry booming, why are we actually fatter than ever?

According to Sheila Zhou, expert Scientist at USANA, leading producer of high quality supplements, “It’s easy to get confused by the various ‘healthy’ food options available these days. Whether something is ‘fat free’, ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic’, we are often tricked into consuming foods that aren’t as nutritionally balanced as we think, in fact sometimes the calories and chemicals in these ‘health foods’ are higher than in our favourite junk foods”.

To help you make the right healthy food choices, Ms Zhou shares her expert tips of a few of the most common products people have nutritionally incorrect misconceptions around:

1.      Salad

Most people are likely to order a salad at a restaurant if they are looking for a healthier option on the menu. However, not all salads are created equal! In fact, many can have toppings that make eating a salad just as unhealthy as choosing a burger. Adding croutons, shredded cheese, dried fruit, and select types of dressings can make your salad an unhealthy alternative. By opting for veggies and lean meats as toppings, with oil and vinegar to top it off, you can save yourself from eating as many as 500 calories per serve – so don’t think that just because something has lettuce in it, it’s in the clear.  

2.      Smoothies 

What could be wrong with blended fruits, veggies and milk or ice? Yes, smoothies are primarily made with those ingredients but they can also be full of chocolate, peanut butter, frozen yogurt and syrups. All of those additives decrease the nutritional value, and can make drinking a smoothie just as bad as slurping on a milkshake. 


3.      Orange juice

A good source of Vitamin C, many people pour themselves a cup of orange juice with their breakfast each morning. What some don’t realise is that orange juice is loaded with carbohydrates and added sugars. Simply taking a Vitamin C tablet such as USANA’s Poly C, or eating an orange, are both good ways to avoid consuming excessive amounts of sugar while still receiving the nutritional benefits of Vitamin C.


4.      Soup

On a cold day, people want a quick and easy meal that will warm them up. A simple option is canned soup, but it can also be a big mistake. Canned soups are typically high in salt, which can cause bloating and fluid retention. Choosing to make homemade soup is the best alternative because you know the ingredients included and you can substitute anything you deem unhealthy for a healthier option.


5.      Muesli bars

Many people have the belief that muesli bars are healthy snacks, with some even calling them a ‘breakfast staple’. However, a majority of readily available muesli bars actually have more calories and sugar than a Mars Bar! Make sure you stay away from the bars with high level of artificial sweeteners, and additives such as yoghurt or chocolate chips, instead ensuring you opt for a wholefood and nutritionally balanced bar.

Tell us, what changes will you make to your diet?

Guest Contributor

  1. Because diets don’t work. So many conflicting opinions, too many rat bags trying to make millions with weird ideas. Even the nutritionist don’t agree. Just now, they are saying parents should introduce babies to peanuts to prevent allergies, but if you remember, we were told by nutritionists not to expose our babies to nuts until they were 5. I remember the health centre sister going off at me for feeding our first child a small amount of boiled egg. It never did her any harm and eggs are still her favorite breakfast and she is now 52.

  2. I’m going to go on a Seafood diet I will see food & eat it !!! You can see what I mean — a clever play on words substituting the A for the E

  3. The best diet is to stand four feet from the table. You not only can’t reach the food but standing for a couple of hours helps lower the BGLs.

    Having said that I will quiet often have a Choc chip biscuit as part of my breakfast and I do not blow my carbs intake. The biscuit is 10.3 gms of carbs and a small apple is 15 gms.

    Actually switch to a proper Japanese diet (Macrobiotic) and you will feel so much healthier.

  4. I told my daughter I had given up sugar. She asked me what I had eaten as she has an app on her phone. It was 2pm and I proudly told her the brands and how much I had consumed, even proudly stating I had not had my usual teaspoon of sugar in my skinny cappuccino. I had eaten 17.5 teaspoons of sugar and that was cereal for breakfast, a cappuccino and bought supermarket soup for lunch! Obviously I starved at dinner time!!!

  5. I cook all my meals and I feel portion size is the key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight.

  6. I follow my diabetic dietician’s advise. Orange juice in small amounts 125 mls at breakfast. She has no problems with salads as a meal at lunch and no problems with light cheese as part of the salad and maybe a slice of bread for carbohydrates with it. I make our own soup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *